Massive feat as pilgrims take on 220km trek to Pope’s Mass

Massive feat as pilgrims take on 220km trek to Pope’s Mass Fr Des Hillery

A group of 20 people have joined together to take on a gruelling 220km pilgrimage from Clare to Dublin to welcome Pope Francis to Ireland.

Beginning on August 15 after 11am Mass the walkers will set off from Nenagh Parish and eventually aim to arrive at the Phoenix Park, Co. Dublin, on August 26 for the Pope’s Mass.

Fr Des Hillery, who will be one of the pilgrims, said it was a way of celebrating the rich tradition of pilgrimage in Ireland.

However the main purpose is to welcome Pope Francis, Fr Des told The Irish Catholic: “What it does I suppose is reflect the Faith that’s there, and it reflects the actual commitment that’s on the ground.”

“Pope Francis is certainly a person that’s making a huge impact and is a voice for an awful a lot of people who find that they are voiceless,” he added.


The first day of the 11-day walk will be along the old Birr road to Sopwell. Next morning the walkers hike along the O’Sullivan Berea Ormond way to Lorrha.

The pilgrims will then begin their treck to Portumna and onwards to Meelick’s beautiful church. Meelick church is Irelands oldest Catholic church with continuous use since 1414 AD. Next morning on Saturday, August 18 they travel onwards from Melick to Shannon harbour to join the Grand Canal towpath for the treck to Inchicore in Dublin, eventually leaving the Grand Canal towpath at Inchicore and walk to Phoenix Park for Mass with Pope Francis on August 26.